The major thrust of my Patreon is to help support the work that I do in the community. So here are the things that I’ve been up to in the last month:
Community Innovation Lab: I am the artist facilitator for this community project. The purpose is to explore the challenges in Indianapolis to economic empowerment and human agency faced by two particular groups of our fellow citizens – women “returning citizens” (formerly incarcerated) and youth aging out of foster care. Our most recent artistic practice had our participants building bridges with one another. This involved them writing out their story on popsicle sticks, us mixing up the popsicle sticks (they were allowed to keep one stick/sentence of their story), then after randomly selecting as many popsicle sticks as they turned in, they had to weave a coherent narrative of the sentences with their partners. And use other media to help assemble their bridge.
The next session, coming up in a few weeks, moves from Theory to Practice. We’re going to develop small experiments with radical intent leading toward new ideas and solutions around reentry and foster care. Here is the experiment I will be proposing with my group: Whenever we talk about re-entry, we focus on the person being released. Services are aimed at them, despite significant hurdles of resources, housing, and transportation. We know from experience that when Person X hits a wall (services being denied/cut off, no job, not enough money coming in, etc), they go back to what they know, Person Y (aka, the corner). I want to target Person Y. What would it look like to network with them, schedule a coffee, recognize their humanity? What would them taking a pivot in their operations, getting them to care about Person X long term, look like? What would treating them as a part of the community look like?
Afrofuturism Friday: The re-cap is in the link. So we received a grant from the Indiana Humanities to continue these conversations. Thanks to this Patreon, I am foregoing any fee due to come my way so that we can pour those resources straight into our community Afrofuturism resource library.
Coming up…
The first two weeks of May include the following:
Mo*Con – A community of writers. In varying states of intoxication. Talking deep stuff.
-Afrofuturism Friday (Butler) – Octavia Butler’s work combines imagination with social, political, and even religious practice. It creates blueprints to find new ways to understand ourselves and the world around us. And, with its Afrofuture promise, it paints a vivid portrait of what the world could look like. So we will explore survival strategies for when the dystopia arrives.
Open Bite – A community event of entrepreneurs and artists. Lots of pics next month.